QPR manager Harry Redknapp lambasted his players after an embarrassing FA Cup defeat to third-tier MK Dons that further highlights their need for reinforcements.
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The west Londoners are bottom of the Premier League and five points adrift of safety, but were given a chance to get a morale-boosting win against npower League One opponents.
However, MK Dons had no interest in that script, progressing to the fifth round with a 4-2 win that made a mockery of the fact QPR were 31 places higher coming into the game.
With Manchester City coming to Shepherd's Bush on Tuesday, Redknapp chose to make nine changes and believes the only reason that backfired is because his players failed to perform.
"If you look at the team, what is it? An England goalkeeper [Rob Green], a right-back from Man United [Fabio], a left-back in Armand Traore," the QPR boss said.
"You've got Anton Ferdinand and Tal Ben Haim, then Esteban Granero from Real Madrid. You've got Ale Faurlin, Park Ji-sung from Man United, Jamie Mackie, Jay Bothroyd and DJ Campbell.
"Surely they are entitled to beat a team from two divisions down? It tells me, like I've said all along, that I need to improve the squad.
"That is why I have gone all over Europe these last three weeks trying to improve the squad because we are short.
"We are bottom of the league because that is where we are. We have picked up in the last 10 games or so, picking up 11 points, and we're getting blood out of stone at the moment.
"I know we need to improve and that is what we will continue to try and do this week, but it is not easy."
Time is running out for Redknapp to bring in much-needed reinforcements, with Tal Ben Haim and Loic Remy the only January arrivals so far.
A deal for Chunnam Dragons' South Korean international Yun Suk-young is close to being completed and the QPR boss suggested some could be moving out before the transfer window closes.
"I gave them a chance because they knock on my door and say they should be playing and other people tell me they are all good players," Redknapp said.
"Well, they got their chance and they blew it.
"It answers questions - not for me because I already knew the answer, but for other people. Today they saw the answers."
Those answers were clear from the fourth minute, when Traore's own goal put MK Dons ahead.
Ryan Lowe extended the visitors' lead before the break, with Ryan Harley and Darren Potter scoring shortly after the restart.
"I thought in the first half we played well," said Redknapp, who saw Bothroyd and Fabio score late consolation goals.
"We gave away two diabolical goals away. Terrible, sloppy defending and suddenly you find yourself 2-0 down.
"We came back in the second half and I thought we would still go onto win the game.
"The third goal is offside, to be honest, but that is not an excuse. The fourth goal was another sloppy goal and you can't give sloppy goals way like that and win football matches.
"The first two goals gave us a mountain to climb. It was diabolical defending for both of them."
As bad as QPR were, MK Dons deserved a lot of credit for the way they frustrated their Premier League opponents.
A club-record away following of 3,155 headed to west London to witness a performance that filled manager Karl Robinson with pride.
"We felt we could come here and get a result," the Dons boss said. "I understand the gulf in teams and I respect that as well.
"QPR is a wonderful football club with one of the best English managers in a long, long time so you always know the difficulties it that is going to possess.
"It is nice to make it through. The players were fantastic and I thought they deserved the result.
"It was difficult for us in the first half. We had to sit off them and they have some top, top players.
"I thought the way they responded to going in front at a Premier League ground was great. They played with no fear.
"Getting into the fourth round was a little bit of history for us and now the fifth round makes it a little more special."